After losing both the test series and the one day series against India, Sri Lanka would have hoped for a quality start in the T20 series against the hosts. But things did not go their way in the first T20I either as India displayed sheer class to outplay the Lankan lions in the same. The defeat was a heavy one for the visitors as they fell short by 93 runs chasing a score of 180. It was an awful performance with the willow by the Sri Lankan batters which helped India script an easy win in the opening encounter.
Looking at the result of the first match, Sri Lanka would like to make some changes to their side. The second match is scheduled to be played at the Holkar cricket stadium at Indore where Sri Lanka would be hoping to equalize the series with a win. Here is the Sri Lankan predicted XI for the 2nd T20I:
Openers: Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga
Sri Lanka will probably stick to the same opening partnership as the last game with the openers getting a bit of a start. The experienced Upul Tharanga has been among runs lately and has been one of the few performers in the India tour. Niroshan Dickwella’s ability to hammer the bowlers up front is expected to give Sri Lanka a flying start though the experiment did not work out in the previous match. After a confident start, the Sri Lankan team fell like a pack of cards with the departure of the openers.
Middle Order: Kusal Perera, Asela Gunaratne
Compared with the legendary Sanath Jayasuriya, Kusal Perera is an absolute asset for the Sri Lankan middle order but is yet to perform in the series. Batsmen’s aggressive nature is the right kind of attitude required in the 20 overs format and therefore is a perfect fit at the number 3 spot. His pick up hits early in the innings can demoralise the Indian bowlers on his day. Asela Gunaratne is a utility customer with both the bat and the ball, and the team is likely to stick with the player because of it. Gunaratne’s ability to chip in with the ball when required will probably give him another shot though failing continuously in the series.
All-rounders: Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka
Veteran batsman Angelo Mathews has performed well in the series. With a couple of centuries to his name Mathews has stepped up when needed, but his efforts have always gone in vain due to lack of support from the other side. His immense experience is always a boost for the side, and the team must utilise his form with the bat to make a difference in the second T20. Skipper Thisara Perera can smash every bowler all around the park low down the order. Known for his power hitting capabilities, the skipper has a huge role to play if they want to turn the tables. His bowling form has also been decent with his slowers working for him. Dasun Shanaka is more of a bowling all-rounder which keeps a perfect blend of the team. The team is likely to keep more bowling options to tackle the Indian batting line up which has an extraordinary depth in it.
Bowlers: Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep:
The Sri Lankan bowling failed miserably in the first game, but the team lacks any other option. The specialist’s bowlers are likely to remain the same with Vishwa Fernando, and Nuwan Pradeep expected to provide the initial breakthroughs. Nuwan Pradeep was the only one among specialist bowlers who got a wicket in the first match, and the others need to rise to give the Indians a tough time.